In the last few weeks, I have dealt with the topics of knowledge, knowledge transformation and knowledge. Already during the research I could establish a connection to my work day. I asked myself the question: “What do knowledge, knowledge transformation, knowledge work and MS SharePoint have in common?” This question is the reason I want to go to the bottom of this blog post.
Knowledge and how it can be transformed
Hardly a term is used and debated as much as the concept of knowledge. But what does knowledge really mean? Knowledge can be understood as the result of an understanding process, which is realized by the classification of information in the context of individual experiences. The individual usability of knowledge is ultimately a decisive condition. Knowledge is often equated with power. However, this is only true. Knowledge is powerful when it is a knowledge that is freely selectable and available, which can be sufficiently networked and used in different relations.
For companies, this means that, in a constantly growing globalization of the various labor and information markets, modern knowledge and knowledge-based know-how must be successfully established and anchored in the company.
For many companies, the transformation of information into knowledge is one of the greatest challenges in today’s digital and information age. Yet it is not a process of impossibility. Even with little resources, companies can discover and centralize their hidden knowledge. One possibility would be, for example, the introduction of an enterprise information management system, which supports all phases of a document lifecycle, starting with the creation of documents through administration and archiving.
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From the knowledge transformation to the knowledge work
If an employee primarily engages in the acquisition, production, centralization or the use of knowledge, he or she is referred to as a knowledge worker. Therefore, knowledge workers are people who carry out mainly knowledge work. Through the cognitive abilities of a person the possibility for successful knowledge work is formed. In order to make use of these possibilities, suitable explanations, such as knowledge work, are to be prepared in advance.
Knowledge is challenging and complex for companies in the time of digital transformation. They must meet the ever-increasing flood of information. Companies have to deal with opposing efforts. In order to increase profitability, an attempt is initially made to standardize and simplify complex activities. Innovative actions develop only when the employees have complete insight into the company’s processes. In order to develop knowledge potentials of a company, on the one hand, it is necessary to increase the degrees of freedom of the collaboration and, on the other hand, to increase the information and communication density.
As a result, the difficulties lie, on the one hand, in the choice of the right place for knowledge-oriented enterprises and, on the other, in the systematic development of communication or interaction-relevant sites. There are places to be created that enable and organize the self-organization of the employees. Knowledge is only an approach that helps to promote and improve the handling with knowledge in the company at the same time. Knowledge management is therefore an intervention approach for the realization, steering and creation of the resource knowledge.
Example – Knowledge at Microsoft: A campus for all
A quick call is enough and an IT service provider sits one minute later, one floor higher in a meeting with Microsoft representatives, to which he was asked spontaneously. The goal of short paths is that even in the age of virtual communication the dialogue is used even more effectively and intensively. This goal is part of a concept of the Cologne Microsoft Campus.
The innovative new building covers five floors and 6,750 square meters of office space. In addition to the 320 Microsoft employees, some 180 foreign employees from partner companies have their premises on campus grounds. Each resident company has the option to book the Microsoft conference rooms for, for example, customer events. Although in the cafeteria, in the office or in the underground garage, the Microsoft campus is not a place where everyone works for themselves, rather it is a place of encounters and interactions. This results in problem-free communication and intensive networking between partner companies, customers and employees.
Not only Microsoft benefits from the campus concept, but also partner companies who want to present the benefits of Microsoft solutions to their customers, have the opportunity to enter the communication world of tomorrow together with their customers and to expand the mutual knowledge about partners. As a result, Microsoft is in contact with customers who have remained undetected. With the concept of a campus for all, Microsoft institutionalizes the profitable knowledge of its environment and makes it available to its employees as authorized knowledge.
Knowledge sharing with Microsoft SharePoint
To answer the question of what knowledge, knowledge transformation, knowledge and MS SharePoint have in common is my answer “quite a lot”. SharePoint as an enterprise information management system offers, so to speak, the entry into the field of knowledge management. SharePoint serves as a central knowledge, information and document database, where all employees, partners or customers have access without neglecting security aspects. Work processes are thus optimized and the work of knowledge workers is considerably facilitated. There are many ways and reasons to choose SharePoint, but this is not the subject of this entry. The most important thing is that a serious rethinking takes place in the company and that they become aware of the value of their employees. These must be regarded as their greatest asset. In addition, companies must respond positively and openly to the change of knowledge, in whatever form; then there is nothing to prevent the use of future-oriented knowledge management.